The Toronto Maple Leafs are attempting to trade for Montreal Canadiens defender Josh Gorges, according to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie. The potential trade, which would send an unnamed roster player to Montreal in return for the 29-year-old defensive defenseman, hinges on Gorges consenting to the deal.
"The Montreal Canadiens have made the financial decision [...] to move on from Josh Gorges and the team that wanted to facilitate that was the Toronto Maple Leafs, which is highly unusual," McKenzie explained during an appearance on TSN 690 on Monday morning. "In this particular instance, it sounds like the Maple Leafs had significant interest in Gorges [...]"
Gorges agreeing to be sent to Toronto isn't exactly a foregone conclusion though.
"He's been asked to waive and he said no, but the Maple Leafs are holding up hope that he'll come around," McKenzie said.
The blueliner, generally P.K. Subban's most frequent defense partner, just completed the second season of a six-year, $23.4 million contract that includes a limited no-trade clause. Gorges' no-trade clause permits him to provide the Canadiens with a list of 15 teams that he's willing to be dealt to and the list reportedly includes none of the other six Canadian-based NHL clubs.
While Gorges controls his fate, it's not immediately clear where he'd fit in on a Maple Leafs blue-line that already includes all-defense blue-liners like Tim Gleason and the recently acquired Roman Polak.
In 66 games last season, Gorges managed one goal and 14 points, while leading all Canadiens penalty-killers in ice time.